The Elements of Democracy Politics

5 Not-So-Classy Ways Of Rigging Elections

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So you want to rig an election? Good. Clearly, you’re a smart guy. Anyone who believes in free and fair elections is a sucker. Democracy is farce and rigging is the only way you can ensure that your family stays in power. So here’s our guide on how to rig elections in 5 not-so-easy ways.

1. Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) Tampering

What better than to hack the very machine voters use to express their choice? If you’re looking to win by deceit, we’re sure you must have come across the idea of hardware tampering. All you have to do is alter the wiring in the machine so even if someone votes for candidate A, B or C, the machine will register all votes for you, candidate D.

EVMs election rigging

Of course, that could be seen as a case of ‘grapes are sour’, but in April 2017, another EVM controversy sparked. In the Bhind constituency of Madhya Pradesh, EVM machines showed the vote going to BJP irrespective of the button pressed; post which, allegations were made against the Chief Electoral Officer, Saleena Singh. Later both Mayawati and Kejriwal questioned the credibility of the Election Commission, blaming him for conspiring with BJP.

So you see, you may feel the heat of your tampering (oops) at first, but once you’re in power, you’ll be pseudo invincible.

2. By Spreading False Propaganda

If you’re looking for a more generic way to rig elections, where you probably won’t have to hire fake engineers on craigslist, you can use propaganda. They say (an opponent’s) negative publicity is the (your) best form of publicity. And you’ll find a lot of carriers willing to help you in your heinous tasks. For example, you can publish controversial news about your opponent through FakeNews and then have them retract the information just in time so you don’t get incriminated. Use social media to spread rumours about a candidate, just like you did in high school. Opinion polls are the best ways to make the public think that you are interested in their opinions. Don’t bother about the accuracy; honesty is not the best policy when it comes to opinion polls. Take, for example, the contradictory results of Today’s Chanakya and Axis My-India.

And if all else fails, you can hire an exiled criminal’s super-legit website to hack your opponent’s emails. Like in the case of Hillary Clinton, where WikiLeaks hacked her emails allegedly on Trump’s behalf; thus starting investigations into her accounts. And Clinton’s email controversy was so heavily covered by media channels that it took over Trump’s abusive, chauvinistic, foot in the mouth moments for a while.

3. By Rigging Votes

Let’s say you want to rig the elections in Bihar. Now this is tricky. You need to get on Craigslist, as fast as possible, and find people who’re willing to commit voter ID fraud. Once you get these people, you pay them a certain amount and ask them to vote for your party only. This is called buying votes and is also a popular tool in many countries. Take Mexico for example; in 2012, mass protests were held across the country against President Enrique Peña Nieto. Protestors claimed that Neito’s party paid TV networks for support, and gave out groceries, pre-paid gift cards, and other goods to voters before the elections.

Now let’s get to impersonation. Don’t be afraid of the big name, this is just a mafia word for actor. A proxy vote is a vote cast by one person on behalf of another. This is usually allowed in cases where the voter is either a senior citizen or is not physically in the state to reach the election booth. In such cases, the voter can sign a form giving the proxy permission to cast a vote on his behalf. This is a highly criticized technique and most countries are on the verge of abolishing it. So this may be your last chance to use proxy voters. For example, in the 2018 assembly elections in Kohima, Nagaland, voters were prepared with nail polish removers and cotton. People would remove the ink on their fingers after casting each vote to give proxy votes. Further, some voters were also seen changing clothes several times to cast multiple votes. Proxy voting is neither healthy nor a fair election practice, but people will take time to follow it truly if given incentive.

4. Using Paid Violence

Threatening people is the fastest way of getting their votes. You can cut down on all the costs of legal campaigning and simply shoot down people who don’t follow you. Just like AFSPA (Check out this video on AFSPA). And you may think violence is wrong, but only if you are one to follow the herd mentality. Violence is easy, authoritarian and gives fast results. Those who propose peace should check in to a mental asylum.

During 1966-1970, violent incidents by communist parties touched a peak. While Congress related violence peaked in the 80s, that related to the BJP peaked during the 90s. So here you go, legit stats to prove that violence, especially in a country like India, will ensure your family rules the country for decades.

Riots are often used by the politicians as a tool for getting more votes. Here’s how!

5. Ballot Stuffing

Don’t be fooled, this has nothing to do with over-feeding voters. Ballot stuffing means increasing the voter call in the ballot sheets. You can do this by first adding dead people’s names in the ballot to increase the number of voters. Then mark all those dead people on the voter turnout list and go cast multiple votes in the EVM booth on their behalf. Of course, you will need a lot of trusted workers to help you hide from the Election Commission’s officers on duty and a foolproof disguise. In the August 2017 Venezuela elections, electoral authorities said that the voter turnout was more than 8 million people, but Venezuelan voting firm Smartmatic later stated that the actual turnout was inflated by at least one million.

The other alternative, in case of paper ballot, is to write your name on lakhs of papers (now you will obviously need help with this unless you like indulging in a little narcissism like Gilderoy Lockhart) and sneak into the voting area after hours to stuff the ballot box with your votes. For example, the Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad, when reelected in 2014, was accused of ballot stuffing, as most of the Syrian population wasn’t keen on having Assad as a ruler.

And finally, if none of these techniques work, you can resort to violence blackmail. Like Bashar Al Assad, threaten voters to support you or face WMD. Alas, if it’s worth anything, leave the rigging aside and let the democratic system work in its own way. For all you know you might be a better political being honest.

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